ATLANTA -- This is Chris Hogan's third year with the Patriots, so he's been around Julian Edelman quite a bit.
He's also been around long enough to know just how important Edelman is to the Patriots offense.
When Edelman was suspended the first four games, the Patriots averaged 23.8 points per game, but in the 14 games since, they have averaged 30 points per game. Hogan spoke of his importance on Tuesday at the Patriots media availability.
“He’s a playmaker," he said. "Him and Tom [Brady] have been together for a really long time and they have been working together for so long. He does a great job of getting open, creating separation and making plays for our offense. When he came back, it kind of took a little bit more pressure off of Tommy and gave the defense something to worry about a little bit more. He’s just a playmaker. We love having him.”
Edelman had one of his better seasons despite missing the first four games. In 12 regular-season games, Edelman had 74 receptions for 850 yards and six touchdowns. His presence rubs off on the rest of the offense.
“Julian is one of those first guy in, last guy out type of guys," Hogan said. "He’s constantly working, preparing his body so it is healthy and ready to go on Sundays. The way that he studies, the way that he prepares, I have learned a lot from him — watching film and how he studies and the way he prepares himself for these games. He’s got an attitude going into these games that you try and replicate. He goes out there with a determination and tries to play physical. He definitely helps our room prepare for these games.”
With Sunday being the final game of the season and Edelman having missed the Super Bowl last year since he missed the season with a torn ACL, the wide out is surely going to leave it all out on the line.
“The guy is a competitor. He’s the ultimate competitor," Hogan said. "Other than Tommy, he might be the most competitive person on our team.”